Fri 17 May 2013
Thu 16 May 2013
At 6AM during our dog walk, while proceeding northbound on Parkman toward Marathon, from the east side of the street we observed the first of two coyotes heading southbound across the street coming up behind an unaware woman walking her small pug on-leash.
I intercepted the coyote before any contact occurred and ran after it to Marathon where it stopped in the middle of the street midway up the hill to the east between Parkman and Occidental:
The second animal, identified as the previously seen “special needs” coyote by its noticeable head tilt and awkward gait, was then found by Susan and Ranger in the yard of a residence on the east side of Parkman between where the first coyote was encountered and Marathon. After flushing it from the foliage it observed us momentarily before proceeding southbound on Parkman toward Bellevue:
Concurrently, the first coyote came westbound on Marathon, crossed Parkman and then Silver Lake Boulevard and was last seen on Marathon heading up the hill west of Vendome.
Mon 1 Apr 2013
Sure, it’s that first day of the fourth month of the year, but I guarantee you the below image, captured by my motion-triggered front steps cam this morning, is no April Fools Day prank (click it for the bigger picture):
It just happens to coincide with the time of year when the coyotes are increasingly out and about and at their most brazenly nonchalant in dropping by and looking for something to eat.
We saw this fellow again walking down in the middle of the street as if he owned it just as Susan was heading out for work a few minutes after 8 a.m. It looked up at us and just kept on going without so much as a twitch or a start.
It’s a coyote’s world, we just encroach upon it.
Tue 26 Mar 2013
You might recall last week that I got on my trusty singlespeeder “El Naranja” and undertook my first road ride of 2013 by pedaling to the DMV in Glendale and back to purchase a copy of the California Vehicle Code required for my present public safety training module. What I forgot to relate was the negative contact I had with a grumpy-assed old cyclist almost immediately on my way back home.
No sooner had I left the DMV when this guy passed me on Glenoaks and I made a right and fell in behind him heading east in the bike lane at a nice plus-10mph clip. Everything was totally peachy for the first block or so and I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one at that moment making use of the relatively new Class II addition to the boulevard, right up until he suddenly came to quick and full put-your-foot-down stop in the lane, as shown below, despite there being plenty of room to ease off to the right like most aware and considerate people would do.
Fortunately I was able make a semi-evasive move that allowed me not to pile all up into his lower intestine and instead move to the left out of the bike lane into the No. 3 traffic lane and safely pass him. In doing so (and while coincidentally aware due to the aforementioned training that it is a violation of CVC Section 21211[a] “to stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any bike lane, path or trail if the stopping, standing, sitting or loitering impedes or blocks other cyclists”), I offered the suggestion that he really shouldn’t make a habit of doing what he’d just done and then pedaled on up to the intersection of Glenoaks and Sonora where I soon learned that he was none to happy with the advice I’d offered.
I offer this next photo up primarily to showcase the bike sensor I found embedded at the front of the signaled left turn lane on Glenoaks and Sonora as indicative of how totally awesome Glendale has become in regards to including bikes on its streets:
I also include it to to show where I stopped while the cyclist I’d encountered caught up to me. Though he also needed to make a left and go south on Sonora, he opted to execute his turn the old-fashioned 90-degree long way, by crossing Sonora to the opposite corner and then waiting for the green to continue southbound.
I personally like to utilize left turn lanes whenever possible for no other reason than to get whatever motorists in my vicinity who don’t know better to perhaps replace their “What the hell is that cyclist doing there breaking yet another law instead of being on the sidewalk where he belongs!?” with a realization that it is the perfectly proper and legal way for a cyclist to make such a turn. And I didn’t begrudge this guy his decision not to follow my lead, at least not until he crossed Sonora, pointed his bike south on that far corner, and started jawing at me angrily accompanied by a series of gesticulations that were concluded with the clear pointing of a middle finger in my direction.
Without going into a lengthy “folks that know me” explanation of how I might’ve badly handled such an affront in the past, suffice it to say that in a previous far more demonstrative don’t-give-a-damn life I would’ve personalized it and gone to great and histrionic lengths to directly educate the gentleman as to how little tolerance I have for such bullshit. Today, being kinder, gentler and infinitely more aware of what a complete waste of time it is to get mad at such jerks, I just laughed him off and blew him a kiss, which caused him to flip me off a second time and jaw even louder until the green light was finally his and he proceeded across the intersection wth the second part of his gradeschooler’s left turn, as seen below (I had to use an arrow to indicate the little guy’s location as he angrily pedaled across in unintended imitation of Dorothy’s dog-hating spinster schoolmarm Miss Gulch):
Of course, you’re way ahead of me. You’ve already figured out that with both of us heading south on the same street, I’d eventually get my green arrow and his headstart down Sonora would quickly evaporate as I reeled him in until we’d once again be in close enough proximity to each other.
You’re gooooood! That happened at the next light at San Fernando Boulevard, when I pulled up behind him and cleared my throat loudly enough for him to peek around and know I was now readily available if he wished to continue the conversation.
Funny what a difference distance and cross traffic makes to one’s bravado. Maybe age and size, too — with me being a head taller and at least 10 years his junior. From across the buffered safety of a busy intersection this guy couldn’t insult me and flip me off enough. But when I get close enough to count the overburdened stitches in the buttcrack seam of his dark blue Dickies, suddenly he’s got absolutely nothing to say.
And it stayed that way for the rest of this red light and for the time it took me to pull alongside him as we approached the railroad crossing, wherein I looked him square in the gritty stare he gave back to and before putting him behind me for good, said:
“Have a nice day.”
Wed 6 Mar 2013
On the heels of this morning’s raccoon encounter, check it. At first glance this thing I found on the walkway outside our house may look like a nicely formed 2″-long piece of poop, but upon closer examination it’s the chrysalis of a gonna-be butterfly. If you don’t believe me wait until near the end of this clip when it starts moving.
Let’s hope my soon to come efforts at googling “how the hell do I not kill a chrysalis” yield me the proper information so that I can get this cocoon situated safely and it can enjoy a righteous debut at a date to be determined.
UPDATE (1:42 p.m.): After going to the trouble of finding my wife’s old hot glue gun and using it to get a dab of the sticky stuff that I then let sufficiently air cool before re-suspending the pupa from a stick inside the old treefrogquarium. I googled around some more and found out it’s more than likely a moth cocoon of a species that develops on the ground or partially covered, rather than hanging upside down. So I freed the thing from its perch and reinstalled it in a pot o’ dirt.
Wed 6 Mar 2013
So many urbanites are taken by surprise when they find our denatured environment is actually full of furry or feathered fauna beyond your average fox squirrel or rock pigeon. I’m a bit more accustomed to (and appreciative of) wildlife encounters, and in the case of the critter in our backyard this morning, the shock was all his (or hers).
And it was all my fault, starting when I failed to visually clear the backyard prior to letting Ranger out for her morning pee. Even when she bolted through the door my first thought was “squirrel!”
Times ten. In the form of a very healthy raccoon that in a panic at the sudden addition of our dog flung itself at the south side seven-foot-tall fence that it thankfully managed to successfully scale. I say “thankfully” because if there’d been a slip and a fall back the ground from that vertical climb, it might have fallen directly upon Ranger who stood beneath it during the last bit of its ascent. Woe be it to the dog that tangles with an angry raccoon, so say I, because nothing good shall come of it.
So say I instead: whew to the raccoon’s emergency evacuation skills.
Once atop the fence the raccoon wasted little time leaping across to the nearest tree branch in the neighbor’s yard, but misjudged the landing and instead thumped hard to the ground. Fearing an injury from the drop I was relieved to see it quickly recover and scramble high up into the treetop, where it then was forced to recover from its adrenaline rush while enduring me pointing my flashing camera at it through the branches from various vantage points until I was satisfied I’d gotten a suitable shot of the magnificent mammal in the early morning light:
Finally leaving it alone to move the trash cans to the street for today’s pick-up, I observed it scramble down the tree apparently unhindered by anything beyond any psychological wounds.
Again I say: whew.
Tue 25 Dec 2012
On Christmas Eve morning Susan and I set out in the light rain for a Silver Lake walkabout that turned into an almost-six-mile loop around our wonderful neighborhood. We discovered new stuff, like this colorfully reborn parking meter we dropped a couple coins into where it stands just south of Rowena on West Silver Lake Drive. This one’s set up to raise money to keep lighted the lovely “Chandelier Tree” the property owner created, and represents a variation of a movement afoot in various cities across the country to re-adapt and reuse the defunct machines as donation stations for various causes.
And we stopped into a variety of shops catering to last-minute holiday shoppers including Yolk, Brightwell, Broome St. General Store, Casita del Campo (for a mid-route libation), The Cheese Store of Silver Lake, Pull My Daisy, Reform School, the 99-Cent store, Daisy’s Antiques and Danish Modern LA.
Before we left I loaded into my backpack a couple books because the one place I wanted to visit in order to give rather than receive was St. George Street branch of the Little Free Library that’s been set up for well over a year (and actual it’s stationed on Rowena between St. George and Hyperion).
One of these years I’m going to add my own satellite branch to the extensive nationwide system.
PS> For a few more snaps of some of the things we saw along the way, check out this Flickr set.